In the peak of the summer when it's near impossible to escape the heat, you're probably not wild about the idea of turning on your oven to make a hot meal. That's why the best summer recipes are quick, simple, flavorful and don't require any heat at all! This salad fits all of those categories, and is also visually appealing, which gives it a definite leg up. Incorporating many local ingredients that are plentiful this time of year, this salad is affordable, it's healthy, and it's so darn delicious.
The beauty of a recipe like this is that it's completely customizable, so if there's a certain vegetable you'd rather omit, or one you'd like to add, go for it! Picking colorful veggies makes it look beautiful, but it also means you're incorporating a wider variety of nutrients, which is another added bonus. The corn here is raw, something not everyone has tried since the norm is to have your corn cooked, but it's really quite tasty. The natural juices in the corn kernels haven't been cooked out, so the corn is very firm, juicy and sweet. I omitted the cilantro here because it's not my favorite flavor, but I think for those who like it, it would be a wonderful addition! It's also wonderful served alongside a grilled chicken breast to make it a more complete meal.
Shown here in a lovely White Pearl Jars Ceramics Plume Pasta Bowl set on a Jars Ceramics Vuelta Dinner Plate in Ocean Blue that really make the colors pop. This is a lovely way to dress up your table setting and your summer picnic plate!
Black Bean and Corn Salad adapted from Crepes of Wrath Serves 6-8 as a side
Salad Ingredients 2 12-ounce cans black beans, rinsed 6-7 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels removed 2 bells peppers, minced (preferably different colors – I used red and orange) 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced 1/2 to 1 jalapeno, minced (depending how hot you'd like it) 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
Vinaigrette Ingredients juice of 2-3 limes 2-3 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar) 2 tablespoons olive oil generous pinch of ground cumin (to taste) ground black pepper, to taste
Directions For the salad: Rinse your black beans and dry as well as you can. (I rinsed mine and left them in a strainer for about 10 minutes.) Remove the kernels of corn from the cob and place them in a large bowl along with the rinsed black beans, minced bell peppers, scallions, jalapeno, and cilantro. Stir to combine and set aside.
For the vinaigrette: Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Pour vinaigrette over the black beans and corn, taste, and add more additional flavorings (salt, pepper, cumin, etc.) to taste. The flavors will get stronger as it sits in the fridge, so be sure not to add too many additional flavorings.
Cover with plastic wrap or place in a container with an airtight lid, and refrigerate until ready to serve. This will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.